Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler has taken her concerns about management of events at Fort Vancouver to National Parks Service Director Jon Jarvis. Fort Vancouver's park management recently denied permits to two events, the Clark County All-Church Picnic, and the Southwest Washington Youth Soccer Fair. Beutler says Jarvis has committed to sending a regional administrator to see if future permits could be worked out under a compromise. Beutler says places like Fort Vancouver should grant permits using different standards than other national parks like Yosemite, sited in more remote locations.
"We're talking about a place that's in the middle of planes, trains, and automobiles. I think we can get to a solution, but it all has to do with the willingness of our local folks to recognize this is a public resource they've been privileged to get tasked with managing," says Herrera Beutler.
Officials with Fort Vancouver say it's not their practice to discuss details of individual permits. But they have said in the past they seek to open the park whenever there's a meaningful association between the park area and an event.
This story originally appeared on Oregon Public Broadcasting.